The Visnagar sessions court today cancelled the non-bailable arrest warrant issued against quota agitation leader Hardik Patel after he appeared before it and gave an assurance to remain present during hearings in the future. Sessions judge VP Agarwal had yesterday issued warrants against Hardik Patel, the convener of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), and six others, including Sardar Patel Group (SPG) convener Lalji Patel in a case of vandalising the office of a BJP MLA during the quota stir in 2015. The court issued the warrants after Hardik Patel failed to appear before it for the second consecutive time, while Lalji Patel and others were absent for the first time. The court cancelled the arrest warrants of Hardik Patel and others after they appeared before it today and gave an assurance that they will remain present during the future hearings. Each of them also submitted surety bonds of Rs 5,000.
The court has kept the case for next hearing on November 15. Hardik Patel and others are accused of ransacking the office of Visnagar MLA Rishikesh Patel during the protest rally of the Patidar community in July 2015. The quota agitation spearhead and others had in the past secured bail in the case. The same court had earlier rejected Hardik Patel’s plea seeking entry into Mehsana district, which was then the epicentre of the quota stir.
The young leader had requested the court to allow him to enter the district by relaxing the bail conditions prescribed by the Gujarat High Court. The Patidar community, under Hardik Patel, has been agitating for reservation in government jobs and educational institutes. The quota agitation spearhead has been criticising the ruling BJP for not accepting the demands of the community. Of late, he has intensified his attack against the BJP as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the run-up to the Gujarat polls, scheduled to be held in two phases in December.